By Michael Miller
A group of pastors has determined that government action to prevent assembly and worship services exceeds the constitutional authority of the issuing parties. Acts 5:29 is a national coalition of pastors committed to worshiping freely in obedience with God’s Word and in accordance with our U.S. Constitutional rights. The First Amendment in the Bill of Rights states that, “ Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” Previously, churches had been fined hundreds of thousands of dollars for defying mask and occupancy mandates and shutdowns.
As reported in the Gateway Pundit on August 17, 2022: One of the churches that was fined was Calvary Chapel San Jose. Its pastors were held in contempt of court and fined in 2020 and 2021 for violating state and county limits on indoor public gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic. A state appeals court ruled that they won’t have to pay about $200,000 in fines,
Here Is The Preamble and Statement Acts 5:29 Are Asking Pastors To Commit To:
We are standing firm and invite all pastors in local churches across America to stand with us in declaring that we will never again comply with the arbitrary orders of an elected or appointed official concerning the conduct and operation of our churches which are secured by the Constitution of the United States, and outside the purview and authority of local, state, and the Federal officials. In an article entitled “Christ, not Caesar, Is head of the Church,” Rev. John MacArthur, speaking on behalf of the pastors and elders of Christ Community Church, accurately posited that a “… recent state order requiring churches in California to limit or suspend all meetings indefinitely … exceeded [the] legitimate jurisdiction…” of their civic leaders, and that “faithfulness to Christ prohibit[ed] them “from observing the restrictions” they [had] attempted to impose on their corporate worship. During the Covid-19 pandemic, elected and appointed Government officials clearly exceeded their Constitutional authority, even to the point of forbidding public worship by churches. Dr. MacArthur is correct in stating that obedience to any such order puts followers of Jesus Christ at odds with the Head of the Church and his commandment that we “forsake not the assembling of ourselves together.” (Hebrews 10:25). An arbitrary edict by Government that obviates a Divine injunction, places pastors in the unenviable position of choosing between the will of God or the will of men. The Apostle Paul wrote that choosing to please men disqualifies one as a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10) Corporate worship is a spiritual discipline essential to spiritual development. If as a pastor, elder, or other church leader, you agree that decisions concerning the nature and timing of corporate worship do not belong to Government but to the Church, please link arms with us and our brothers and sisters around the world, by taking the following three actions: 1. Sign the statement below by clicking the “sign now” button. 2. Share this website to help us reach our initial goal of 5000 signatures. 3. On New Year’s Day 2023, email governing officials in your local, state, and Federal jurisdiction to inform them that you are a signee and will not be closing your church again at their order. On the email: Include your name, title, and mailing address in the subject line. In the body, be sure to include the website link.
The Acts 5:29 Statement
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution states:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
During the recent COVID-19 “pandemic,” representatives who were elected to secure our God-given rights, clearly transgressed their lawful authority in executive action that prohibited public meetings or mandated the wearing of masks and “social distancing.” God’s word directs us “not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together.” (Hebrews 10:25) This verse is a Divine injunction.
We must obey God rather than the arbitrary decrees of men.
As a national coalition of pastors and churches, we reject any Presidential or gubernatorial decree requiring us to disobey the word of God. We will resist any attempt by a Federal, state or local official to restrict or prohibit the free exercise of our Religion or place restrictions thereon.
The end of all civil government being the good of society, we affirm our submission to lawful civil authority as instituted by God himself; but when rulers exceed the scope of their Constitutional and God-given authority, they act contrary to their office and the public good and effect the ruin and misery of society.
We do not need the permission of civil authorities to obey what God has commanded, nor does the Church need the approval of civil authorities to serve and worship our God in the way he has prescribed.
The Greek word translated Church is “Ekklesia” which means “the Assembly.” Our identity as the Church of Jesus Christ means we are by nature an assembly; we assemble to hear his Word preached, partake of the sacraments, and fellowship with one another. The Apostles’ teachings are unambiguous in this regard.
Civil magistrates have no authority to dictate what churches may do or not do.
The Constitution of the United States is the highest law in our land. In 1803 in Marbury v. Madison, the Supreme Court ruled that “any law repugnant to the Constitution is null and void.”
We are on solid Constitutional footing in our refusal to comply with restrictions on public worship. Again, the First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Any law, order, or mandate that infringes our God given right to worship according to conscience, violates the First Amendment and is unlawful.
We the undersigned hereby affirm the preceding statements.
Here is the Acts 5:29 site link that pastors are invited to join: https://acts529.com/
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of Acts 5:29 and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal Florida. This is merely a news article reporting it.
Michael Miller, A Co-Founder of Citizens Journal Florida is a fierce defender of Liberty. The retired Fire Lieutenant/EMT from NY has been in FB for 8 years. He is a local sailing captain and instructor. He dabbles in theatre, photography, geopolitics, markets and now writing. Look for his writing here and at: https://firesail.substack.com/